The City of Quesnel is reviewing its options in the wake of new Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines issued by Health Canada.
The problem is the amount of Manganese in the water.
The Maximum Acceptable Concentration is now .12 micrograms per litre and the average in the Quesnel water system is .22 micrograms per litre.
Health Canada recommends water filtration through a reverse osmosis systems.
We asked City Manager Byron Johnson if that means that Quesnel will be getting chlorine in its water…
“What most communities have done is chlorination followed up by filtration to remove the precipitated manganese. So they usually go together, they don’t have to, and in the end there is going to be some Council decisions along the way, but usually it involves full treatment including chlorination.”
Johnson says whatever is done it’s going to be costly…
“For chlorination, because we have a distributed water system meaning we’re taking our water out of five different wells. Our water system, an initial look at it, would require three different treatment plants, and three different treatment plants in today’s dollars is 18 to 20 million dollars, so it’s a really expensive system.”
Johnson says while the city does have a water reserve it certainly couldn’t handle a bill like that so Federal and/or Provincial Government funding would be needed.
He says they will be bringing a full report, including potential solutions, to City Council.
Johnson says this is the first time that Health Canada has given the city a health guideline on Manganese.
He says the concern previously was just about what the water looks like and tastes like.